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The East Coast Upgrade

Network Rail have started a multi-million pound programme to upgrade the East Coast Main Line. The programme includes:

  • Renewing track, signalling and overhead wire equipment on the approach to London Kings Cross station. The track is being re-laid in a new layout, with a disused tunnel being reopened, allowing for six tracks into the station instead of the current four.
  • A new platform being built at Stevenage for the Hertford North-Stevenage trains
  • Relocating the control of signalling to Network Rail's operating centre in York
  • Further improvement works are taking place further north of Peterborough

You can find out more about this programme at eastcoastupgrade.co.uk

Upcoming engineering work summary

Current key dates for the upgrade work at King’s Cross are as follows (these are subject to change and passengers will be kept informed of any changes). We are still working confirm the train timetable for these dates – we thank you for your patience.

2020

Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October

  • King’s Cross Station closed for work to signals and overhead lines

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 November

  • Reduced service into King’s Cross Station to continue work on overhead lines and on signals

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November

  • King’s Cross Station closed for overhead line works

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November

  • Reduced service into and out of King’s Cross Station for work on points and overhead lines

Thursday 24 December (Christmas Eve)

  • An amended timetable will be in place

Friday 25 and Saturday 26 December (Christmas Day and Boxing Day)

  • No services across the entire route

Sunday 27 through to Wednesday 30 December

  • No services to or from King’s Cross Station

Thursday 31 December through to Sunday 3 January

  • An amended timetable will operate

2021

Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 January

  • Reduced service into and out of King’s Cross Station for overhead line and signal work

Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January

  • No services to or from King’s Cross Station, or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park

Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February

  • No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park

Monday 1 March through to Friday 4 June

  • A temporary, dedicated timetable will operate at King’s Cross station to support the main works with reduced services operating

Friday 23 through to Sunday 25 April

  • No services to or from King’s Cross Station for all three days or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park on the Saturday and Sunday

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June

  • No services to or from King’s Cross Station or to or from St Pancras Station via Finsbury Park

Frequently asked questions

Network Rail’s East Coast Upgrade is a £1.2 billion plan that covers a number of different improvements along the the East Coast Main Line, a key rail route carrying over 20 million passengers a year, connecting London King’s Cross and Edinburgh via Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. For more information about the work being carried out visit eastcoastupgrade.co.uk.
The work includes a major upgrade at King’s Cross station, upgrading power supplies, construction of almost 2km of new railway line and a new Platform 5 at Stevenage (removing conflict between Hertford North line trains and other services) and transfer of the signalling to be controlled from the York Rail Operations Centre instead of King’s Cross signal box.
The station building itself was modernised and revamped in 2012, but the existing track and signalling layout has not been improved since it was installed over 40 years ago and is in need of upgrading to meet future passenger demands. Passenger numbers are expected to increase by 30% by 2023. The East Coast Upgrade involves creating a new, simpler, layout at King’s Cross with additional tracks allowing an increase in capacity.
The Moorgate line signalling is being transferred to York as part of the East Coast upgrade. There is also a separate project to renovate the stations, much of which has already taken place, and to clean the tunnels. This will require line closures which, although not part of the East Coast Upgrade, will affect many of the same passengers during the same time period.
There are currently no trains for most of the day on Mondays to Fridays between Watton-at-Stone and Stevenage. Buses are replacing these services until May 2020. More details are available on our Great Northern information page.

Yes. There is significant further work planned as part of the East Coast Upgrade.

2020 and 2021
Full details for this period are still being finalised but there will be further longer packages of work, including line closures, which will have a big impact on our services.

The rail industry is working together to package the projects to reduce the number of times that passengers are disrupted and allow them to plan their journeys with confidence.

Closures will be advertised well in advance to allow passengers to plan ahead. Keep an eye on eastcoastupgrade.co.uk.

We know that closing the railway to carry out improvement work has a big impact on passengers’ lives, which is why we work hard with Network Rail and other train companies to plan the work in a way that minimises overall disruption as much as possible. We hope that by providing several months’ notice people will be able to make informed choices and be more flexible with their travel plans.

All dates are chosen, as far as possible, to avoid major events.

This work is designed to provide a better, more reliable service for passengers on one of the busiest sections of railway in the country. Delaying the works would mean passengers having to wait longer for reliability improvements and an increased risk of delays and disruption as ageing infrastructure continued to deteriorate.